Water into Wine

July 2012

John 2: 1-11

Jesus changes water into wine

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’

4 ‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from eighty to a hundred and twenty litres.

7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.

8 Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’

They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Here are the messages that I saw hidden in this beautiful story:

  • Jesus's mother told Jesus the problem that they had no more wine. She expected a solution from Him, but she did not suggest to Him how to go about solving the problem. She left that to Him. How often do we pray to God describing our problems to Him, but also dictating the solutions? We ought to leave room for God to find the solutions for us because ultimately His solutions are the best, just as the wine was the best amongst all the other wines.

  • Jesus rebuked His mother saying, "My hour has not yet come" and then went ahead and solved the problem anyway, by way turning water into wine. This is to show that although her request was not timely for Him (for His ministry to go public), it was He who chose to respect and honour her by solving the problem that she had highlighted to Him - and not as some believe, that Jesus's mother had the power to control Him.

  • Many Catholics used this scripture to support the belief that Jesus's mother had power over Jesus to control Him, and hence they pray to her rather than to Jesus. This should not be. Jesus is ultimately part of the Triune God and was in no way under the control of His mother. If she had had control over Him, He would have just done what she wanted without rebuking her, but the rebuke was there to illustrate the important point that it was all His decision to perform the miracle and not hers.

  • Jesus had to honour His mother because by doing so He kept the 5th commandment "Honour thy mother and father". Jesus was the only one that ever walked the earth sinless without breaking any of the 10 commandments. He had to make sure He lived a sinless life because He had to be the perfect Lamb of God (without blemish) that would be offered as sacrifice for our sins. If Jesus had sinned even once, He would not have been good enough to go to the Cross. This story shows just how careful Jesus had to be - He had to ensure every detail of His life remained blameless. It would have been so easy for Him not to honour His mother (after all it was not yet His time), but leading a blameless life was far more important than anything else because the salvation of mankind was at stake.

  • The miracle happened in the depth of the jars (in the darkness of the jars) where no one can see - water went in, wine came out. The same with the bread and fish story - the miracle of multiplication (of the bread and fish) happened in the darkness of the baskets. Darkness can represent life problems, it is through life problems that God can work miracles in us to make us into the best people, people of integrity and excellence (just like the wine being of excellent quality).

  • The wine turned out to be the best wine (better than any they had ever tasted). I would imagine the same with the bread and fish - the bread would be like it had just come out of the oven, and the fish just caught a few minutes ago - all fresh. When God gives, He gives the best! Something ordinary into something extra ordinary. So why do we often feel reluctant to let go and let God? We fear His solutions, His ways, in case it’s something that we don’t want – so we fear and we dread. We have to learn to trust in Him.

Further Revelations

God also revealed to me a strong connection between the story of water into wine and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These stories mirror, contrast, and complement each other, as follows:

  • In the Water into Wine story, Jesus said, "My hour has not yet come". In the garden of Gethsemane, He said, "The hour has come" (see Mark 14:41)

  • At the last supper, Jesus referred to wine as being his blood (see Mark 14:24 - This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.)

  • In the Water into Wine story, Jesus addressed His mother as "Dear woman" or "Woman", and again at the foot of the Cross just before His death (see John 19:25-27). These are the only two places in the Bible that He had addressed her in this way, there are no others. It is as if they were bookends, marking the beginning and end of His ministry.

  • The wedding took place on the 3rd day, Jesus was raised from the dead also on the 3rd day.

  • The most powerful yet.....

John 19:33-34

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

  • Jesus was our Jar!! He was our miracle.

  • Just as the water and wine were mixed / being transformed in the depth of the jars --- so was in the depth of His body, water and blood mixed in order that we can be transformed from death to life!

  • Just as the wine had to be poured out, so his blood also had to be poured out --- meaning He had to die.

Oh, what sacrifice, what love, what grace!

How could I ever thank Him enough?!

© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.

Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay